RI Students Show Progress in Annual Testing
Saturday, February 09, 2013
In fact, the results were so strong that Rhode Island students ranked highest among states using the NECAP assessments in both reading and writing.
The most important factor to analyze, however, was the percentage of high-school students in grade 11 that scored “substantially below proficient” as those students will have to take and show improvement on the test next year as one of three graduation requirements.
That figure was still high at 40 percent but was down four percent from last year.
“I am pleased to see the overall improvement in high-school results and our strong performance in reading and writing across all grades,” said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. “Although I am concerned about our mathematics scores statewide, I congratulate Rhode Island teachers and students for the improvements made this year and over the past five years.”
“As we move forward in our work toward transforming education in Rhode Island, our students continue to make progress, particularly at the high-school level,” said Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist. “We hope and expect to see continued improvement for all student groups in the coming years as we implement the new Common Core State Standards and as our accountability system focuses ever-greater attention on closing achievement gaps.”
Providence Still Struggling
The news was not as great for students in Providence, however, as on the whole the capital city’s students showed progress from last year but were still struggling to obtain proficiency. All told, 49 percent of students in Providence were at least proficient in reading, 34 percent were proficient in mathematics and 40 percent were proficient in writing.
Those numbers represent a one-percent improvement in reading, a two-percent drop in mathematics and a seven-percent increase in writing.
All told, however, the news for the state was largely positive. A total 72 percent of RI students in grades 3 through 8 were proficient in reading while 61 percent of those same students were proficient in math.
Rhode Island’s 11th grade students, meanwhile, scored well in reading (79 percent were proficient) but struggled in match with just slightly more than one out of three (34 percent) obtaining proficiency.
RIDE also cautioned that although most student groups have made progress in achievement levels over the last fives years “achievement gaps have generally widened at most grade levels.”
In other education news, RIDE announced today that Rhode Island’s four-year graduation rate remains at 77 percent while five and six-year graduation rates improved to 81 percent apiece, both improvements.
Both Chafee and Gist expressed concerns with the alarming rate by which 11th grade students in the state struggled with math but remained confident they can improve in time to meet the requirements for graduation.
“It is important that we strike a balance and maintain high standards for our students,” Chafee said. “We all have the same goal: to see our students succeed in school, their careers, and well beyond.”
“With good instruction and with the will to succeed, our students can learn, improve, and earn a meaningful high-school diploma,” Gist said. “I understand that our Diploma System demands a lot of our teachers, of our students, and of their families. I appreciate all that educators across Rhode Island are doing to prepare our students for success.”
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